The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District, Santee Cooper and Orangeburg County hosted a 15th anniversary celebration of the Lake Marion Regional Water Agency and ribbon cutting ceremony for the John W. Matthews Industrial Park water tank on Thursday, May 3 at the Matthews Industrial Park in Orangeburg County where U.S Rep. James Clyburn was the keynote speaker.
Celebrating the completed construction of the 180 ft. water tower, Clyburn led the cutting of the ribbon. Speaker’s also highlighted the agency’s success in bringing potable drinking water to Orangeburg County and the municipalities of Bowman and Santee by drinking water from the central tap of the water tower.
“Great strides have been made to bring economic development to this county and the central part of the state,” said Mr. Johnnie Wright, Sr., chairman of both the Orangeburg County Council and the Lake Marion Regional Water Agency.
An integral piece of this regional water supply system, the John W. Matthews Industrial Park water tank is a $2.6 million project that delivers water to the Matthews Industrial Park and the town of Bowman. The industrial park is being developed by Orangeburg County and is named for long-time S.C. Sen. John W. Matthews Jr. The park is a vital part of the Orangeburg County Economic Development Commission’s long-range plan to bring industries and jobs to the area. The much needed safe, clean and reliable water, which this project supplies, is key to economic development and new business start-ups.
“When people have a chance to be their best, to do their best, now that’s economic development,” remarked Matthews. “Providing infrastructure is multi-generational thinking.”
Bill McCall, Santee Cooper executive vice president and chief operating officer, praised the water agency for its long time commitment with Santee Cooper on the regional water project.
Lt. Col. Edward Chamberlayne, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District, thanked Clyburn and Matthews for establishing the vision and need for this project.
“The construction of this project went exceedingly well with more than 11,000 hours of accident-free quality construction, and delivered an aesthetically pleasing structure,” stated Lt. Col. Chamberlayne.
“A problem cannot be fixed, if it is ignored. This is about a solution to a problem,” stated Clyburn. “It is about need.”
Orangeburg County and the Corps of Engineers have plans to award contracts for the Goodbys Wastewater Treatment Plant and Transmission System, respectively. In the future, the agency has plans to provide water resources to Dorchester, Calhoun and Berkeley Counties.